In April 1980, the Express ran some retro articles about pre-war amateur sport, particularly cricket and football, and about Burnley during the war years, which prompted readers to send in their own memories.
Syd Ratcliffe, “the cricketing Policeman” and a very well-known Burnley personality, sent in this poster for a charity cricket match in which he played in 1941. The match was between a Home Guard Eleven, and a Lowerhouse C.C. Eleven, in aid of the dependants of two members of the Read Home Guard, who had recently been killed in a coach crash.
Cyril Clegg and James H. Pate died in the early hours of Sunday, June 22nd 1941 when the coach they were travelling in crashed into a wall at the Trapp Lane Junction, Simonstone. The Read Home Guards were returning from a dinner in Long Preston, marking the first anniversary of the formation of the company. Cyril Clegg, 39, with 4 children, died almost immediately when he tried to jump off the coach, and James Harvey Pate, 41, died in hospital later that day. Several other Home Guard men were treated for injuries. The Coroner’s verdict was misadventure.
Despite being listed to play for Lowerhouse, on the day, well known West Indian professional Manny Martindale played for the Home Guard and scored a bright 70 out of their 182 for five, including 12 boundaries, which ensured their victory. He donated his collection of 26 shillings to the fund. Lowerhouse’s top scorer in their 153 all out was their captain, Herbert Lawson with a likewise bright 61 including 11 boundaries. .
The Lowerhouse team was slightly different from billed: A. Farmer, K. Tranter, S. Ratcliffe, J. Holdsworth, T.T. Redman, A. Veevers, J. Swift, H. Lawson, A. Waterworth, L. Drabble, C. Maden. Lowerhouse’s George Bridge and another of the Tranters were also on the Home Guard team.
The match and the subsequent concert in the club room were said to have been well supported.
By Anne Cochrane